Meaningful relationships - real results  

Overview

Clients draw upon the expertise of Parsons Behle & Latimer attorneys and professionals to provide a well-rounded team in the areas of law and governmental process. Our governmental law practice is the strongest in the Intermountain Region, with offices in Boise, Idaho Falls, Lehi, Missoula, Reno and Salt Lake City. Our team represents clients in administrative and regulatory law before state legislatures, local governments and regulatory agencies on myriad issues including, but not limited to: 

  • Environmental
  • Natural resources
  • Power
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

Parsons’ Government Relations and Lobbying team of attorneys and professionals, many of whom have significant campaign and election law experience, also counsel clients about the basics of the political process and complexities of election law, lobbying, procurement and regulatory law.

Team

Key Contacts

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Experience

FERC Order

On behalf of Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Parsons Behle & Latimer petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a declaratory order recognizing that the federal agency has no jurisdiction over power wheeling rates set by Grant Public Utility District (PUD). Parsons' client utilizes power reserved from Grand Coulee Dam, wheeled over Grant PUD's system, to deliver water to nearly 250,000 acres of prime farmland in eastern and central Washington. Grant PUD asserted it can no longer provide reduced or discounted rates for wheeling this federal power over its transmission system due to FERC jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act; instead they must charge the standard rate. Parsons contended that rate setting by a municipal entity in Washington State is a matter of state law, based upon the plain wording of the Federal Power Act and existing precedent, and that the unique circumstances and history of wheeling federal reserved power for the irrigation project can be considered by Grant PUD in setting a different rate. Grant PUD and several national trade associations opposed Parsons' petition and sought dismissal. FERC granted Parsons' petition on July 15, finding that it has no authority to regulate such rates and that issuing a declaratory order would assist in resolving the matter between the client and Grant PUD. FERC also noted that Grant PUD has previously set a different transmission rate for the irrigation district's power wheeling than it has for others, further confirming that it can do so in the future. As a result, Parsons' client is able to renew its proposal to Grant PUD avoiding significant (70%) increased rates for the farmers who the irrigation district serves.

 

Federal Election Commission Dismissal

Obtained dismissal of a case for a client facing a complaint before the Federal Election Commission.

Opposition to Acquisition

Defended client in proposed acquisition by Canadian utility company based on rate and public interest concerns. Decision for client based on the premise that an Idaho utility company cannot be purchased by a foreign government or entity owned by a foreign government.

Capabilities

Election Law

Parsons Behle & Latimer's attorneys can help you to make sound decisions about complying with laws that govern political activities and campaign contributions. In addition to offering federal campaign contribution advice, Parsons' attorneys advise clients about participating in the state, county and national political process. Specifically, our election attorneys counsel corporate executives about compliance issues regarding political activities and corporation campaign contributions, pursuant to both federal and state law.

In the area of election law, our attorneys represented 37 former members of Congress in the landmark case, McConnell v FEC, before the United States Supreme Court. Our election attorneys routinely advise clients on compliance with laws regulating lobbying and media relations as well.

Federal Lobbying

From decisions made on Capitol Hill to the actions of federal agencies implementing laws, protecting interests requires diligence and strategic thinking on a moment's notice.

In addition to lobbying at the state and local level, Parsons Behle & Latimer's government relations and lobbying department represents clients at the federal level in the executive and legislative branches.

Clients draw upon the expertise of Parsons' attorneys and professionals to create a well-rounded team in the areas of law and governmental process.

Procurement & Business Development Incentives

Get the incentives and contracts you need. Parsons Behle & Latimer assists its clients in bidding on government projects and qualifying for government offered business incentives. In the area of procurement, Parsons uses its government relations expertise to assist its clients in navigating the multi-step procurement process at the state and local level.

Likewise, in the area of business development incentives, Parsons is skilled at identifying, understanding and qualifying clients for incentives administered by various state agencies including those administered by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Assisting our clients in qualifying for available business development programs not only helps them achieve their business goals and objectives but it also promotes state economic development by creating new high-paying jobs and increasing the tax base.

Regulatory & Government Relations

Regulatory agencies can cause headaches for your business. We can help. Parsons Behle & Latimer regulatory law clients include the Intermountain West's largest mining, manufacturing, financial and commercial entities in federal and state regulatory proceedings involving: 

  • Energy
  • Raw materials
  • Transportation
  • Permitting
  • Licensing
  • Taxation
  • Telecommunications

Domestically we have represented clients before the Utah Public Service Commission, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the Utah and Nevada Departments of Natural Resources and Departments of Environmental Quality and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Internationally we have represented clients in Africa, Argentina, Chile and Peru.

Few areas of business are more highly regulated than medical devices and drugs. Parsons' attorneys advise clients about regulatory hurdles they confront with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and various state agencies. Additionally, these attorneys advise clients about whether their products can be marketed under the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA) and the regulatory requirements necessary to market dietary supplements. The firm's regulatory attorneys also assist clients such as pharmacies, medical clinics, health care professionals, contractors and others who are licensed by state agencies such as the Utah Department of Commerce and the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).

State & Local Lobbying

Parsons Behle & Latimer not only assists clients in complying with the law, we shape it. 

HOW WE PROTECT AND ADVANCE CLIENT INTERESTS

Parsons’ Government Relations team drafts and lobbies for specific legislation that benefits our clients, but of equal importance, we identify and alert clients when proposed legislation arises that could adversely affect them or their operations. Our proactive approach to government enables us to often give our clients advance notice of legislative and regulatory proposals that may dramatically impact their businesses. In turn, we communicate their interests to legislators early in the legislative process, leading to success both in defending and advancing client interests. Our past legislative work has not only allowed clients to continue their businesses unhindered by government interference but has often allowed them to embark on new business ventures. 

DEEP POLITICAL EXPERIENCE

Our Government Relations team is comprised of a core of attorneys and professionals who provide clients with diverse political backgrounds and familiarity with day-to-day legislative processes. Clients draw upon the expertise of our attorneys and professionals in specific practices areas such as, but not limited to:

  • Communications
  • Environmental
  • Energy
  • Human resources
  • Public lands
  • Financial services
  • Health care
  • Tax
  • Water rights

Together, our government relations professionals are adept at:

  • Drafting and passing laws of specific benefit to clients
  • Preventing laws that would harm clients’ interests
  • Building coalitions of individual companies and associations with common interests to advance clients’ goals
  • Monitoring general legislative regulatory activities
  • Representing the general interests of specific clients before governmental bodies

Taxation & Regulation of Political Organizations

Parsons Behle & Latimer attorneys help political candidates, committees and organizations to understand how federal and state tax laws may apply to them. Parsons advises candidates and their committees; political action committees; political issue committees; and 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 527 organizations with respect to compliance with federal and state income tax laws. Together with our business entities group we assist clients with structure, formation, operation and dissolution of entities formed for political purposes. Additionally, together with our governmental regulations group we advise clients on federal and state regulations on reporting, expenditures and disclosures.

Insights